Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Copying Kanevsky

Alex Kanevsky is one of my most favorite contemporary
artists and I've forced myself to not copy him for almost
2 years but finally succumbed. It was pure joy! When I'm
looking at something in real life, I have such a hard time not
translating it literally, a problem I've never had before a couple
of years ago. It's probably because I've been so focused on
learning to see things as they are (well, as much as possible)
and now that I want to see in a different way, it's so hard to
make the shift. I am making the shift with still-life, but with the
figure, I've been hopeless. I've tried heads from my own photos
and always revert to smoothing the paint, ie. copying the photo. I
figured I had to do something very different to shift my brain:
learn from Kanevsky. (I've tried one of my own since painting
this and am still hopeless! It will take time and practice.) His
painting (a nude) appears to have some transparent areas brushed
over thick paint which is what I planned to do as well but when this
image starting emerging, it seemed best to leave it.

The painting I copied from is no longer on Kanevsky's site: but it's still under Some Figure Paintings
on Click on "Grid View with
Artist's Names" under the slide show.


Linda Popple said...

Beautiful painting and I am impressed that you were able to capture the correct colors. I think that one of the best ways to learn is to copy and you certainly did a wonderful job. I love his paintings .... the loose brushstrokes, subject matter, and the emotion he evokes in his work. Keep up the good work!

Carol Flatt said...

Thank you, Lorraine, for the superb references to this artist and to the website, "Powers of Observation." Both were truly excellent. The composition of the Kanevsky works was remarkable - different and captivating. I think the other site will be a wonderful reference on many topics. When we shift approaches as we all do occasionally in order to grow, I wonder if it IS possible to succeed to the level at which we wish to be without having some model, reference, or inspiration from someone else who has traveled that road. You obviously were pleased with the process you used to create your stunning artwork. Now, as you apply these methods and observations to future work of your own (and it DOES take time, repetition and practice) perhaps you'll see the changes you wish to see. I just read today about a new oil paper made by Arches that needs no gesso or much prep. Perhaps we'd all feel freer to let loose if we felt the materials weren't as precious as canvas and panels are. Does that make any sense?

suzannepaints said...

This is so creative of you. I like the way you describe limiting your little self that way. May you soar!

martinealison said...

Une copie certes! mais avec votre propre écriture. Vous apportez avec votre talent particulier et personnel une autre dimension, une autre âme à ce portrait.
Gros bisous

Julie Ford Oliver said...

Your piece is really strong. I love it.
I am thrilled to see Akex's work. So sophisticated. I wish I knew of him earlier but it is not too late to study and pick up some pointers.
I agree you have to work and work at something you feel and see inside your own self to be able to have it appear naturally in your own work. It is only just happening to me and I have been at it years.

Jean Townsend said...

This looks full of joy and energy! Also, great paint quality - all of a piece--really nice.

Carol Schiff Studio said...

Such raw emotion!You should be pleased!

Jane said...

Even if this is a copy, it is still you doing it and I really love it , wonderfully free way of painting !

Carol Horzempa said...

I love what you have done with this painting even if it is a copy. You have put your own feelings into it also. Beautifully done, Lorraine!

Pétales de fées said...

Dear Lorraine,
it is always interesting to copy a great artist we appreciate, we are "immersed" in a different way of seeing things and transcribe, and as you say very well: you learn a lot. Your painting is beautiful because it gives all its importance to the soul of the picture, the emotion, the inner life and that's it a successful portrait!
Good weekend to you dear artist!

hmuxo said...

Your style is always unique and beautiful, Lorraine and your blog is always a pleasure to visit...I see YOUR style in this painting ..I only wish I could stand by you so I can, I will visit Kanevsky's work..

Shirley Fachilla said...

Thank you for the introduction to Kanevsky. What a wonderful artist! I looked through your past posts about your figure work and can identify with many of your concerns. But you have brought something to your "copy" of Kanevsky that is distinctly your own.

claire christinel said...

Beautiful colour palette and I love the edges of the head, soft and disappearing into the background.